Who’s Online? It May Surprise You

Speaking on a panel at Forrester’s Finance Forum yesterday, Andrew Salesky, SVP of Client Web Services at Charles Schwab said:

Everyone thinks that the younger the consumer, the more likely they are to be online. We find that the more affluent they are, the more likely they are to go online.”

This is a lesson for a lot of financial firms trying to solidify their [often tenuous] relationships with the older affluent and mass affluent boomers.

Use of the Web is also increasingly important to seniors and new retirees.

Marketers often fall into the trap of thinking that older consumers are set in their ways and habits. That’s true — to a certain extent. But when they retire, many people seek out new experiences and look to develop new skills — like using technologies that they never had time to learn while they were working.

You can teach [us] old dogs new tricks.

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5 thoughts on “Who’s Online? It May Surprise You

  1. Yet another story with the shocking news that people with more money have computers and use them. (Sorry, nothing against you. It just surprises me sometimes that people are so astonished about this.)

  2. Elaine: I wasn’t going to post this entry, because at first I didn’t think it was worthy of putting on the site. But something I read on another site made me think “geez, there’s a lot of people out there who think that nobody over 40 uses the Web.”

    And I can assure you that there a LOT of people working in large financial services firms who are CONVINCED that wealthy people are “too busy” to use the Web. [Can you say “clueless” boys and girls?]

  3. Here’s my take–we always need to have an objective look at who our customers really are. I remember when I first started in the marketing business (1985–yikes). I worked for a leading mailing list company, then called Metromail. At a sales meeting, the rep for American Express relayed a story about how her client was sure that their customers were affluent. Surely only a rich person would shell out that annual membership fee, right? Well, Amex was wrong. Simple customer profiling showed that their typical customer was NOT affluent–they were people who aspired to wealth.

    Remember, this is before the days of the gold/black/etc cards, but, still points to the need to understand the customer base.

    Suzanne (apologizing profusely for the long comment)

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  5. This was a worthy post. I attend my share of credit union conferences and have sat in many sessions focused on the web and in particular social media. Every session thus far touts that Gen Y is the sole demographic using these sites. Too broad of a generalization for me. I say the speakers should showcase the technology that they believe will make an impact and quit pounding away that this is the only way to attract Gen Y.

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